Tiwi Islands offshore gas fight shows public banks are under real pressure over fossil fuel funding


by Christian Downie

Not so long ago, it was easy for public banks to fund new fossil fuel projects. But now, as the world faces a worsening climate crisis, the tide may be turning.

Case in point: after Traditional owners filed an injunction over a Santos gas development near the Tiwi islands, South Korea’s export credit agency announced it would reconsider its financial support.

“Environmental and legal risks” is one reason given by the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim) for the delay in deciding on a loan of up to US$330 million for the project. The move could threaten its financial viability.

Public financial institutions are under renewed pressure to change lending practices after the world’s leading climate scientists strongly warned against any new fossil fuel infrastructure. In our region, public banks in China, Japan, and South Korea now face unprecedented scrutiny for their role in financing the climate crisis.

Read the entire article in The Conversation.